Shibuya's Composer, he who rules over the Shibuya prefecture. Standing alone in his rule over the UG and its counterpart of reality…
"Hey, Boss, its been about three hundred years or so now.", Sanae Hanekoma, Shibuya's Producer and loyal Guardian to both the Composer and to the town. He began, white wings folded from his back. The Fallen Angel. He, only sat in His throne, in His Room of Reckoning.
"And? Its been few hundred years, so?", He asked, transparent, almost ghostly, how He appeared. Facial features were barely distinguishable from the white being that sat in His throne.
"The Higher Plane just contacted us recently, they left us with this.", he held out a scroll of parchment, a band of light sealing its written Holy contents. Sanae didn't have the power to open it, only the Composer's eyes could read such a document. Sanae casually tossed the scroll towards the Composer, catching it within his ivory white hands. The light surrounding it snapped and broke before unraveling to reveal the message inside. The Composer's eyes scanned it over for a moment before he crumpled the parchment in his fist. "I knew it. So, who's it gonna be, Boss? You gotta pick someone or you're out."
"He's never failed me before, perhaps its time for a little reunion with my dear proxy…"
[ Shibuya: Sakuraba Residence ]
"Hey, Mom, I'm going to meet Shiki, see you later!", the orange haired teen called as he slipped his shoes onto his feet.
"Where are you two going to be today?", his mother asked from the kitchen. Neku sighed as if he shouldn't have to explain.
"We're just going to have lunch together with Beat and Rhyme, that's all! I'll be home on time, I promise!", he stood, taking his keys from the rack near the door. Jingling as he put them into his large white short's pocket.
"Okay, have fun, dear!", Neku seemed to twitch at this as he closed the front door behind him. He hated being called 'dear' by anyone. He detested the term of endearment as if it were a curse. He flipped his cell phone open as he began to walk towards Hachiko. He was on time, good. Otherwise, Shiki might whap him over the head with Mr. Mew again like last time. Neku still wanted to get there on time, tapping his foot as he waited at the intersection. Finally, he could cross the crowded Scramble and make it to Hachiko. A brunette with a black cat toy, Shiki, was the first to greet Neku's arrival with a kiss. Beat giving Neku's arm a nudge with his elbow as he came over, chuckling. He still found it amusing that Neku and Shiki were seeing each other. His little sister, Rhyme, giggled at her older brother, smiling as she gave Neku a welcoming 'hello'.
"Sorry, I'm late again, huh?"
"Nope, you're right on time for once! Come on, Dogenzaka's waiting and Beat's stomach is just about to shrivel up if we don't feed him soon!", Shiki laughed, hearing the blonde older sibling's grumbling stomach in his hands.
"Yeah, I'm starved! Gotta have my curry ramen!", he chuckled, taking the joke. It was true, the guy couldn't eat the stuff fast enough to satisfy him. Neku nodded and they moved along the crosswalks to Dogenzaka. They hurried along passing Ten-Four. Though, Shiki caught sight of some really cute hair pins and had to buy them first before continuing to Ramen Don.
"Sorry, they were the last pair and they weren't getting anymore 'til the end of the month!", she apologized, clipping them in her hair, as to not lose them or have to carry them in her pocket.
"No problem, Shiki, you look really cute with them on.", he said, giving his girlfriend an affectionate peck on the cheek which turned pale red. Neku wasn't one for PDA's so this was nice but the girl was still embarrassed. They had their order taken, ate, chatted with one another, swapping stories and jokes until the sun began to set. Lunch seemed to go by so quickly with the four. Finally, they parted ways, Shiki still had a curfew to keep. The only reason her protective parents let her date Neku in the first place was because he promised to have her home on time. Beat and Rhyme went home and disappeared into the Scramble as Neku and Shiki said their goodbyes with a sweet kiss good night.
"See you later, Neku.", he replied the same as they left each other's company. Neku smiled, keeping an eye on her until she was no longer in sight, a drop left to mingle in an ocean. He still had a good few hours to go until he could come home, so he decided to take a walk and kill time. It had been an entire year since the last he'd seen of the UG. No more Noise, no more Reapers, no more anything. He visited Mr. Hanekoma every once in a while when he felt like it but really, he still couldn't go there. He lied about all of it, it wasn't just Joshua smiling at him as he dropped onto his knees, the pain of the bullet having yet to take its hold. The both of them, Mr. H., his role model and idol, and Joshua, after he thought he had died before! But that's impossible for Shibuya's Composer, he knew that. He lied about all of it, both of them. It wasn't something Neku had forgiven. He might forgive Mr. H. but Joshua? No, he wouldn't forgive him. Couldn't. Even if he helped him in his last week in the Game to come back to life, to his friends and family, to a real life. He was grateful in only that one way but he would never thank Him, he probably couldn't stand to see that smug face of His.
Neku walked up his drive way and up to his front door, pulling his keys out from the necklace he held. So many people asked what the hell it was, pulling the bottom part of the container off and held the lanyard out, slipping his house key in and unlocking the door to go inside. He went into the kitchen, all the lights were out, flipping a switch that illuminated the white tiled room. He saw a lone note stuck by a circle magnet on the refrigerator, written in pink pen with hearts. His mother had left it for him when he came home. 'Neku, your father and I went out to dinner with some friends, I made you supper in the microwave for later. Love, Mom. P.S. Invite Shiki over to dinner one of these days.', Neku tore it off and tossed it in the garbage can before going upstairs, clicking the lights off on his way out.
"…?", Neku climbed the stairs, making sure to click the light on before he tripped and fell on his face. It wouldn't be the first time that had happened. He felt a chill run up his spine, down to his extremities, even to his fingers and toes. His fingers picked at his collar a bit, pulling it up, without much success as it fell down back into place again, absently. He ignored it and climbed the rest of the way up, one foot after the other. He turned down the hall and moved towards his bedroom. Neku's hand moved out towards it but a sense of foreboding came over him. The feeling of something horrible happening before he swallowed the feeling down and touched the knob. A click later as he turned it but he didn't open it. Why was he so paranoid? What could be in his bedroom that made him so scared? It was nothing, right? The doors were locked, his mom wasn't so careless to not do so before leaving the house, and the alarm would've been triggered if someone broke in by force. He shoved the door away, hitting the wall with a loud bang and coming back slightly.
"That was quite the disruptive entrance.", Neku
couldn't believe it. His hands turned to clenched fists, teeth
coming together tightly as he glared forwards at his bed. "Hello
Neku, hee hee…"
"Why are you here?! Get out of my house, now!!", Neku wouldn't hear of it, just the sound of his voice, his face, made his blood heated. He immediately took hold of his nightstand's lamp and held it high above his head in a threat. He meant every word, every action, every expression of hatred his mustered towards this bastard.
"What do you plan to do with that, dear…?", he smirked cockily. That grin set him off, throwing the lamp as hard as he could at the other on the bed. He heard no crash, not a sound from the other, nothing at all. He looked up, Neku's blue eyes had shut tight, putting all his strength into sending the lamp at the Composer as hard as he could, why was there no crash? "Didn't your mother teach you not to throw things in the house? You'll need a lot more than a lamp to hurt me, Neku…", Joshua's hand glowed dimly of white light, his expression was cold, the lamp hadn't shattered because it didn't hit anything. It stayed suspended in midair, glowing the same pure light in his former partner's outstretched hand.
"Get out!! Leave me alone, I've had it with you, go away!!", he screamed at the top of his lungs. His mouth tore open again to let out another shout at Joshua but his voice made no sound, no noise.
"I came here for you, I need your help and yours
alone, Neku, please listen and hear me out.", he explained, Neku
still tried to yell futilely. He even moved to tear the Composer off
his bedspread and out the window but his form froze, he couldn't
move either. It was because of Joshua and that damned power of
Neku knew he wouldn't be allowed a voice or a single movement until he listened. He didn't resist but Joshua still had his body and mouth bound. Why? He wasn't going to do anything but Joshua wouldn't let him go. He got angry again but it was calmer, more controlled. "I need you for this…", he dove into his back pocket with his free left hand and pulled something small out. He hadn't noticed before but the dim shine on the other's pianist fingers glimmered to something on his ring finger. Of what else would be there but a ring? A gold band, nothing too flashy but when the Composer held his hand out to his proxy, Neku wanted to yell even louder, struggling to break free to no avail. It was a matching ring. That could only mean one thing, something Neku didn't want with every fiber of his being. Not even with Shiki did he want that yet!!
Neku saw the other's fingers closing, slowly, almost threateningly with the cold expression on his face. The face of a cruel sadist. He felt the air leave his lungs by force, every inch of his body tightening on himself. He felt like he was being torn apart in all directions. Finally, the Composer's fingertips relaxed and loosened their hold on his form, allowing him to breathe again. Neku gladly sucked in the air he needed, not struggling anymore.
"I don't want to hurt you but I will if I have
to, Neku. Don't think I won't.", Joshua's voice was so grave.
He needed for Neku to marry him! No, he wouldn't!! He saw the
Composer give a slight frown, sensing the rejection and his proxy's
repetition of the word 'no'. "Its not marriage, its only the
ring I need you to wear, Neku. Calm down. If I wanted to marry you, I
would've done it by now, by force if necessary.", he replied.
Neku finally felt the power seeping away until he collapsed onto the
floor of his own bedroom, his hands and knees keeping himself up from
landing on his stomach. He was slightly sore all over from the
"What . . .", he was breathless, coughing slightly as he tried to speak, looking up at the other who sat on the edge of his bed, legs crossed, hands politely in his lap now, no longer glowing pale light. " . . . do you want from me . . . ?", he coughed out his question finally. Joshua just smiled. Every time Neku saw that smile, it was like a bull seeing red, he wanted to throw his fist into the other's face.
"I need you to wear this ring and hold onto half my power for a little while. This means living with me for a bit. But don't worry, you'll only slip into a dimension for a while and come back as if you'd never left.", Joshua spoke through that snide grin. It had to be a lie. Joshua always hid the truth from him.
"No. I'm not doing it, find someone else!"
"Sorry, but you or I don't have a choice in the matter.", he took up Neku's hand, he was a lot stronger than he appeared, looking so scrawny, you wouldn't think he'd be able to hold onto Neku's wrist like that. Wait, what did Joshua mean he didn't have a choice? Joshua looked at him, as if he could hear his question. "I need someone who's soul is bright and with an imagination that's as strong as the three founders of a UG. In other words, because of all that time, your soul is about as pure as it gets."
"But why do I have to leave my family and friends just because of that fucking ring?!"
"Because if you don't, I die. And if I die, the entire UG of Shibuya will collapse.", his face was so grave. It had to be truth, he cared about Shibuya as much as Neku did, he wouldn't let it tear itself apart over a ring. Still . . .
"Why", he coughed, trying to clear his lungs. "can't you keep the UG alive?", he asked, ending with a slight clearing cough.
"Its not that I can't, it's more that my body's failing and it needs to heal. Being a Composer isn't all its cracked up to be, Neku. Physically, normal humans can't hold onto a Composer's, or even a Conductor's power for very long before they end up erasing themselves.", his hand made a gesture of dust blowing in the wind for emphasis but Neku could see it in his mind already. "I was inducted into being a Composer by the proper ritual and so, no erasure. However, it doesn't mean my body's indestructible. I need to store half my power with you for a while, take some pressure off this body and allow it to heal on its own."
" . . . So, all I have to do is stay where you can see me and wear that ring?"
"That's all, dear. Hee hee.", he giggled, he was still the same after an entire year. Neku figured he wouldn't change in just a year. When you lived for who knows how long, it didn't seem like much could phase or change you a significant amount.
"How long would I be staying if it were in real time?"
"Hmm, I'm not entirely sure, most Composers need a few months to heal. Its not only the damage to the body but to the soul as well. Of course, we can always ask Sanae.", he wasn't sure? Oh, that was reassuring.
"I'm not putting that ring on until we see Mr. H about this.", he glared, crossing his arms. It was late but his parents weren't coming back for a while anyways. He was going to see Mr. H now and get this stuff straightened out now. He couldn't forgive Joshua that easily. He just couldn't. After so much he had been put through, it couldn't be that easy.
"If you want, but we're taking the short way, I'm not in the mood for walking.", he held his hand out, expecting Neku to take it so they could leave quickly. Like he'd said, the Composer didn't feel like wasting time tonight, this must have been important if even Joshua was worried. Neku just glared, he wasn't going to do this for him, only for himself. Only so Joshua would leave him and he'd never have to see his face again.
"Fine.", with his hand in the other's, a smirk
on his former partner's lips as Neku was familiar, it was only
seconds, the mere blink of an eye, until Neku and Joshua both stood
in the middle of Cat Street.
"Hey Phones, how ya been these past few months, huh?", Neku was still in a daze from how quickly they got here, seeing Mr. Hanekoma standing next to Joshua. The both of them having the same smiles and smirks on their faces, respectfully. Mr. H had all the answers, what would Neku have to do until he could be rid of Joshua for good?